A falconer in front of Qasr al-Hosn
Held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Qasr al-Hosn Festival will once again celebrate the oldest
building in Abu Dhabi, which is now 250 years old.
The Qasr al-Hosn festival is a historic and cultural celebration that will open its doors from February 20th to March 1st, 2014, to welcome thousands of visitors following its successful first edition earlier this year.
Held in the grounds of Qasr al-Hosn, the festival is an annual celebration of the Qasr al Hosn Fort, the symbolic birthplace of the capital, and centuries of authentic Emirati culture and tradition. It enhances the nation's sense of identity and honours the UAE's founders and visionary leadership.
The festival is held under the mandate of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, which conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al-Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, said, "The Qasr al Hosn Festival is an annual token of our appreciation for Abu Dhabi's rich history and culture. Centred around our cherished historical monument, it strengthens appreciation of Emirati heritage and identity.
"Every year, the Qasr al Hosn Festival will highlight and celebrate the significance of the fort and the birth of the nation's capital and its development over more than 250 years." Expanding on the role of TCA, Sheikh Sultan said, "Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority has a holistic vision of culture, which embraces both tangible and intangible heritage. It is committing all its resources to the preservation of architectural and archaeological assets as well as to the development of visual and performing arts, literature and poetry to celebrate the Emirati identity. Qasr al Hosn will become a physical embodiment of this cultural manifesto." For the first time in several years, Qasr al Hosn Festival presents an opportunity for its visitors to explore the ancient fort as it undergoes renovation. The interior foyer will be partially open to festival visitors on guided tours and educational activities for children and youth.
Visitors will witness progress on the ongoing restoration work which is being carried out using international standards of conservation and best practices in the management of World Heritage assets.
Qasr al Hosn Festival will be a platform and an annual milestone, allowing the community to be completely associated to and engaged in the progress of Qasr al Hosn's restoration.
Building on the success of the first festival, visitors will experience both the tangible and intangible heritage of the Emirate through a variety of inspiring activities, designed to reflect over two and a half centuries of Emirati and Abu Dhabi history. These include a world-class show reflecting themes inspired by the UAE history and context, interactive heritage and art workshops, celebrations highlighting Emirati skills and traditions, and historical tours and exhibitions.